Melrose House

Named after Melrose Abbey in Scotland, Melrose House, is a beautiful former residence situated across the street from, and offering beautiful views of Burger’s Park. The first part of the house was built in 1886 by businessman George Heys. In the 1890’s the house was expanded by building on the pantry, billiard room and conservatory and expanding the kitchen.

Most significant part of Melrose House’s history occurred in 1902; War had been waging between the British forces and the Boers since 1899. After the British invasion of Pretoria in 1900, Melrose House became the headquarters for the British forces under Lord Roberts and Lord Kitchener. In 1902, due to peace mediation efforts in Europe, the British Government insisted that peace be attained in South Africa, so peace negotiations were undertaken between the two parties. By 31 May 1902, they had come to a consensus and the Peace Treaty of Vereeniging was signed in the dining room of Melrose House, which essentially relinquished the independence of the two Boer republics of the Transvaal and the Orange Free State back to the British.

At present, Melrose House serves as a museum showcasing decorative features of the Victorian time period, including ornate stained-glass windows, luxurious carpets, ornate ceilings and paintings by English artists.

In the garden of Melrose House, antique fairs and temporary exhibits are often held and there is a tea garden.

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